Serum Institute opens world’s largest vaccine facility

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Pune | Updated: September 10, 2019 7:20:14 AM

The facility, set up with an investment of Rs 3,000 crore, is getting ready to export Made in India vaccines to regulated markets like Europe and the US and will produce half-a-billion doses annually.

Spread across 2 million sqft, the facility will cater to 150 countriesSpread across 2 million sqft, the facility will cater to 150 countries

Serum Institute of India (SII) has opened the world’s largest vaccine manufacturing facility with an investment of Rs 3,000 crore in a capacity expansion move aimed at capturing 10-15% share of the international market.

The institute is getting ready to export Made in India vaccines to regulated markets like Europe and the US from its new facility, which will produce half-a-billion doses annually. Spread across 2 million sqft, the facility will cater to 150 countries.

The new multifunctional production facility for vaccines at the Poonawalla Bio-Tech Park at Manjri was inaugurated by Union minister for health and family welfare Harsh Vardhan on Monday.

SII is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally with a capacity of 1.5 billion doses. Its 22 vaccines are pre-qualified by WHO.

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said while they had an existing capacity to make 1.5 billion doses they were now looking forward to compliance with American and European vaccine manufacturing regulations and export to these markets.

Approvals from these two markets would take some time and we would be able to enter them only after two years, he said.

Harsh Vardhan said while there was an increase in coverage of immunization there were still 20% of mothers who do not take their child for immunisation either out of ignorance or some other reasons. Like the campaign that eradicated polio from the country, the government dreams of achieving similar success in dealing with malaria, TB and other diseases.

The new SII manufacturing plant will commence its production from November. It will maximise the production of vaccines such as HPV and TDAP along with monoclonal antibodies like Trastuzumab (Herceptin) and Ustekinumab (Stelara).

SII in association with NIH (USA) has developed a thermostable rotavirus vaccine. The vaccine remains stable and has the highest level of potency for a longer duration in non-regulated temperatures. The vaccine, called Rotasiil, remains stable for up to 30 months at a temperature of 25°C.

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